Cancel MobileMe- lose all your local data

20 Comments

mobileme_logoApple blew it with the MobileMe launch last year and rapidly stepped in and extended the free trial period that many had signed up for.  They kept doing so until recently when they notified those who had not signed on for the paid membership that their trial account would be going away.

Said accounts went away as promised and those who did not disable syncing from their computers soon found that all their local data had disappeared.  It seems that syncing to a closed account was still possible and said sync would replace the local user data with nothing which was now in the cloud store.

Say what?  How can Apple let something like this happen?  I would say that Apple owes a few folks something big time for wiping their data for ending a free trial.  This is Apple’s responsibility no matter how you look at this, user data cannot be destroyed when a free trial of anything ends.  This points out the vulnerability that cloud storage brings when the cloud fights back.

This also makes it clear how important it is to disable syncing on all your computers before canceling MobileMe for any reason.  It seems that the Apple bites back if so.

(via TheAppleBlog)

20 Comments

Karan

As usual, Apple gets a slap on the wrist from the fan boys for a major SNAFU. Loss of customer data is a big no, no. If this had happened on Live Mesh /SkyDrive (or the 3 or 4 other sync services MSFT has) you know the blogs would be on fire roasting MSFT for it.

Martini

And this is why cloud computing is not all it is cracked up to be, especially for sensitive data!

Cloud computing is all fine and dandy, until your service provider has a glitch, goes out of business or you forget to pay your bill.

Jean-Gabriel Morard

This is funny!

I work for a sync product and this kind of situation is really easy to get yourself into: sync just propagates deletes, not always for the best! This is no excuse for MobileMe though; this kind of bugs is so common that they should have had it in mind (and tested it.)

Anyway, I’m sure they’ll fix it now that this was on blogs.

A. Davis

This explains so much. I dealt with this very issue, but thought my own Mac glitched. Thankfully, I was able to restore everything from both TimeMachine and Mozy, but still…

I’m going to try and call Apple and get a free year’s worth of service.

Sumocat

Good lesson here: don’t trust data mirroring, including file syncing. Once got stuck with three copies of a corrupt file because of a similar system. JournalSpace evaporated because they relied on a mirrored backup system that left them screwed when their data was overwritten. Use redundant backups to protect your data.

Scotty

James I really think that old saw needs to come out and play again here: never attribute to malice that which can be as easily explained by simple incompetence.

What I found annoying was having bought a $30 discounted MobileMe with my new iPhone and not having been able to apply it to my account when I got it. Until that is they told me I had 48 hours left, at which point I couldn’t find the silly box again. And of course the place to type in the code was now sitting right there in front of me as I renewed.

Jake

More Apple problems? Who would have thought it was possible. Do they have a single product that doesn’t have massive flaws like this?

I’ve just come from Gizmodo where they’re complaining about the price and conditions imposed by Apple to remove the DRM on iTunes tracks and the fact that they can’t plug two usb devices into a MacBook Pro at the same (yeah Apple products are really well designed aren’t they). I come here and there are problems with Mobile Me and Safari.

When will people learn. These are typical Apple problems and this is one of the main reasons why I avoid all their software and hardware. If you continue to buy this rubbish from Apple you really get what you deserve IMO.

Todd

“…This points out the vulnerability that cloud storage brings when the cloud fights back….”

An irresponsible statement. Should read:

“…This points out the vulnerability that not reading the ToS brings when the greedy corporate sales staff that you gave your data away to decide to call you on your laziness.”

Please don’t tarnish cloud computing’s reputation by equating it with corporate greed and vendor lock.

fishd

@ojleblanc @John

I think John is mainly focussed on the media side. My iPhone, Macbook and Mac Pro all sync mail, contacts and calendars via mobile me… but my iPhone is hard linked for media to my Macbook… which is annoying, because my Mac Pro has an Elgato EyeTV that records TV for me… it’d be great to be able to connect my iPhone to my Macbook for all my latest podcasts etc then hook up to my Mac Pro to get the TV shows.

I’m happy with MobileMe’s sync’ing… the thing I’m not happy with is iDisk. EPIC FAIL! How iDisk exists in this day and age without making sure that both LOGIN and DATA TRANSFER take place over SSL is beyond me. I wanted to use iDisk to keep work related documents sync’d between my two computers but as it contains my companies financial info I’m unwilling to use it if I’m not 100% sure it’s secure. Last thing I want to do is start sync’ing bank details over a sniffable connection.

I use dropbox for the file sync.. and it’s really cool. Very well designed product. Just annoys me that I’ll have to pay for the premium version to get the storage I need when I already know I have iDisk sat there doing nothing.

ojleblanc

@John,

I’m confused. I use MobileMe with two computers– my Windows Vista PC and my PowerPC. They both sync (as does my iPhone) with MobileMe without (too many) difficulties. I have had the experience of my data disappearing, but that was during the early days of MobileMe. I’ve had no problems in the past several months. I’m hoping things stay that way!

AndyM

Not surprised. I turned off MobileMe right after the first round of duplicated data. Have used their services since iTools was free and all the way through .Mac, and while they finally got synching right, it took a couple of years for it to be fast and smooth and for apps like iCal to get good. I’ve now let the subscription expire, and I rely on Google apps and Mozy.

Demetri

Sync via third party application is old. The future of sync will probably look a lot like Palm’s web OS.

Demetri

Third party/application sync is old. The future is a sync model like Palm’s web OS.

John

I do love my iPhone but the most serious complaint I have is that it is hard locked to one computer. What this tiny feature (the subject of this post) says to me is that Apple made a serious blunder when they designed the whole syncing service thinking that people only ever use one computer. Bear with me here….

The iPhone can sync mail, contacts, calendar, and media but only through one computer. It is designed this way. So if you sync via another computer inadvertently then it all disappears. So this particular feature is really in line with their whole approach.

They ignore people like me with three computers at home – any of which I can use at any given time and one at work.

This really is a great device in most other respects and in the day of the “cloud” why is it that Apple are so narrow in their utilisation of the same. I have migrated all my calendar, contacts, mail and docs to Google and now with Neuvasync I have most of this at my fingertips whenever I have the iPhone with me.

You see it is not just one isolated instance of bad design – it is lack of good integration all around that I deplore.

Ken

Boy, two negative articles about Apple products in one day. What must Apple’s Fanboys be thinking? Clearly these are not bugs, they must be program features that the masses just don’t understand! Kind of like having to take your Apple computer to an authorized service center just to change the battery?

I have respect for most Apple products, but I firmly believe that Steven Jobs and his minions put their pants on one leg at a time just like the rest of us. Nice to see that they can blow it once in a while just like every other big company.

–Ken

gshocker

Ouch.. I have been thinking of shutting my service off when it expires. Will have to remember about the sync shutdown. Certainly not winning them any points after the already poor launch that they had with the new service.

GoodThings2Life

Uhh, are you kidding?

Normally if you cancel a service, it shuts off the authentication so that the clients get an error, and then it waits for user input.

But nooooo, not Apple… they let you authenticate, delete everything from your service, and then your clients say, “Oh, you deleted this content, so let me help you clean house on your clients.”

Brilliant.

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